HBD, taxes and segregation

If you understand HBD, I think you have to agree that high marginal tax rates are equivalent to segregation.

Neighborhoods that are highly "diverse" have bad schools (i.e. schools filled with NAMs). If rich people (especially if "rich" means recently earned a fair amount above average) live in these neighborhoods and they’re taxed at high rates, they effectively have no choice other than moving to areas that have good schools (i.e. areas that are not diverse). If smart people are more likely to be rich, and certain groups of people are more likely to be smart, then high tax rates will result in segregation.

High marginal tax rates therefore are effectively equivalent to segregation. QED.

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16 Responses to HBD, taxes and segregation

  1. Leonard says:

    It’s not tax rates that attract people to good public schools. It’s getting something valuable for free. Nor is money most of what drives the well-off away from bad schools — it’s the desire to educate the kid, not have him assaulted, and to keep him away from loser peers.

    So long as the right to attend a subsidized school is based on residential location, the price of education will be incorporated into local property values. And thus rich areas will always have good schools (and enhanced property values), and poor areas, bad ones (and lowered values). It has nothing to do with tax rates.

    So if you wanted a clever slogan you might argue that “public schooling is effectively equivalent to segregation”. Of course, I am assuming that private home ownership exists. I am sure that when the link becomes clear to the progressive, he will naturally take that to mean that private home ownership must be abolished.

  2. jmanon says:

    “If rich people (especially if “rich” means recently earned a fair amount above average) live in these neighborhoods and they’re taxed at high rates, they effectively have no choice other than moving to areas that have good schools (i.e. areas that are not diverse).”

    I don’t follow this premise. I’m a “rich” person (i.e., young professional with big salary) who lives in what was, until the housing crash, a gentrifying neighborhood. The public schools here are still full of poor people that I don’t want my kids to be around. Right now, I’m sending my kids to private school rather than moving, although we’ve chewed over both options. Don’t see what tax rates have to do with the choice though.

    • Foseti says:

      Taxes come in because, at a certain point, you can’t afford higher taxes and private school . . . you’ve got to move.

      • jmanon says:

        But houses in school districts without poor people are way more expensive than houses in my neighborhood, or they’re very far away from work. You have to pay for good schools one way or the other.

  3. Bill says:

    This argument is a near miss. If you have any valued good (and education is one such) provided and financed by local governments, then you get people sorting themselves into localities based on their willingness-to-pay for the goods (and willingness-to-pay is obviously correlated with income, race, etc). This is called Tiebout sorting.

    • AC says:

      Yep. Segregation can also take place based on high property values – an often unspoken reason for plans to keep density low and preserve “green space.”

      Progressive taxation per se hits rich people more than poor people, it doesn’t do much unless it’s coupled to high property values or good schools – the real drivers behind the discriminatory effect.

    • sardonic_sob says:

      Tiebout sorting is an interesting idea. I read the Wiki for it and noted that like many economic theories it requires a high degree of information on the part of the consumer. This is the cynical answer to why realtors will not under any circumstances discuss racial demographics with prospective homebuyers. It’s not that they’re worried about steering, they’re worried about self-segregation. Ironically, they’re not even allowed to discuss information which is freely available *and provided by the government.* (E.G. the racial demographics of almost all counties and municipalities are available from the Census Bureau.)

      A person I know who was recently looking for a new home really got into this information while shopping. As they told me, “I’ve enjoyed about all the diversity I can stand.” It turns out that it’s really pretty easy to steer, so long as you’re doing it yourself. They bought a home in a shamefully, SHAMEFULLY non-diverse suburb and are quite indecently pleased with themselves. Shocking, just shocking.

      • Bill says:

        Census data on race, income, education, family composition, etc is very easily available online all the way down to the neighborhood level (neighborhoods are called “census tracts” in census-talk).

        Data on race, income and other characteristics all the way down to the school building (!!) level are available online at the Dept of Education. It is usually easy to turn addresses into school building info on school district web sites. And where it is not, a phone call suffices.

        My own personal favorite piece of information is % of population over age 25 with a bachelor’s degree. It’s highly correlated with everything good.

        You have to be a little clueless not to use this information when you shop for a house. It is easy to use.

        Realtors won’t tell you anything because they want to stay out of court. Never listen to anything a realtor tells you.

  4. sardonic_sob says:

    I kinda like the way Megan McArdle puts it: when people who live in exclusive suburbs say that they couldn’t afford to send their children to private school, she tells them that they DO send their children to private school. It’s just that they don’t pay tuition, it came free with the house, like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

    We moved to a much nicer suburb last year, and while I thought that the lower-middle-class one we lived in before had nice schools, I was amazed to see how much nicer the ones in the upper-middle-class one are. (We skipped a level, going from lower-middle-class to upper-middle-class without stopping at middle-middle class.)

  5. dearieme says:

    You can get good schools for your children by two methods. (i) The clean way – pay money. (ii) The dirty way – exploit the privilege accorded to those with expensive houses.

    • Leonard says:

      Nothing dirty about it. Not unless you’re willing to go the full monty to “taxation is theft”. How about “direct” and “indirect”? As for “privilege”, you’re using the word as the leftists use it.

  6. Gorbachev says:

    The privilege of the rich.

    Hey, none of this is grossly unfair. If the poor want to go to good schools, let them live in good neighborhoods.

    You could live in an area with busing, but most of these areas have given up busing : it ended up destroying the “good schools” and parents revolted.

    The truth is that most people with means do whatever they can to escape from “diversity”. The real-estate agents may not talk about it, but everyone does it. Everyone.

    All of the Asian Americans I know, and I know a lot of them, do the same thing. This is their primary concern, actually: Not being around a lot of “diversity”, in the sense of non-white or non-Asian people.

    And they don’t give a snail’s shit about whether their views are PC.

  7. Gorbachev says:

    It’s interesting talking to East-Asian Americans. Their views tend to be much more rational and much less politically correct than the average white person’s voiced opinion.

  8. […] Foseti – “Blacks and Gays“, “I’m Underpaid“, “Tom Lamont“, “HBD, Taxes and Segregation” […]

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